Natural killer (NK) cells can be divided into phenotypic subsets based on expression of receptors that bind self-MHC-I molecules, a concept termed licensing or education. Here we show NK cell subsets with different migratory, effector, and immunoregulatory functions in dendritic cell and antigen (ag)-specific CD8+ T cell responses during influenza and murine cytomegalovirus infections. Shortly after infection, unlicensed NK cells localized in draining lymph nodes and produced GM-CSF, which correlated with the expansion and activation of dendritic cells, and resulted in greater and sustained ag-specific T cell responses. In contrast, licensed NK cells preferentially migrated to infected tissues and produced IFN-γ. Importantly, human NK cell subsets exhibited similar phenotypic characteristics. Collectively, our studies demonstrate a critical demarcation between the functions of licensed and unlicensed NK cell subsets, with the former functioning as the classical effector subset and the latter as the stimulator of adaptive immunity helping to prime immune responses.
Anthony E. Zamora, Ethan G. Aguilar, Can M. Sungur, Lam T. Khuat, Cordelia Dunai, G. Raymond Lochhead, Juan Du, Claire Pomeroy, Bruce R. Blazar, Dan L. Longo, Jeffrey M. Venstrom, Nicole Baumgarth, William J. Murphy
DCs are necessary and sufficient for induction of allergic airway inflammation. CD11b+ DCs direct the underlying Th2 immunity, but debate surrounds the function of CD103+ DCs in lung immunity and asthma after an allergic challenge. We challenged
Laura Conejero, Sofía C. Khouili, Sarai Martínez-Cano, Helena M. Izquierdo, Paola Brandi, David Sancho
Many effector mechanisms of neutrophils have been implicated in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) have been assigned a particularly detrimental role. Here we investigated the functional impact of neutrophils and NETs on a mouse model of lupus triggered by intraperitoneal injection of the cell death–inducing alkane pristane. Pristane-induced lupus (PIL) was aggravated in 2 mouse strains with impaired induction of NET formation, i.e., NOX2-deficient (
Deborah Kienhöfer, Jonas Hahn, Julia Stoof, Janka Zsófia Csepregi, Christiane Reinwald, Vilma Urbonaviciute, Caroline Johnsson, Christian Maueröder, Malgorzata J. Podolska, Mona H. Biermann, Moritz Leppkes, Thomas Harrer, Malin Hultqvist, Peter Olofsson, Luis E. Munoz, Attila Mocsai, Martin Herrmann, Georg Schett, Rikard Holmdahl, Markus H. Hoffmann
Fibrotic lung disease, most notably idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), is thought to result from aberrant wound-healing responses to repetitive lung injury. Increased vascular permeability is a cardinal response to tissue injury, but whether it is mechanistically linked to lung fibrosis is unknown. We previously described a model in which exaggeration of vascular leak after lung injury shifts the outcome of wound-healing responses from normal repair to pathological fibrosis. Here we report that the fibrosis produced in this model is highly dependent on thrombin activity and its downstream signaling pathways. Direct thrombin inhibition with dabigatran significantly inhibited protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR1) activation, integrin αvβ6 induction, TGF-β activation, and the development of pulmonary fibrosis in this vascular leak–dependent model. We used a potentially novel imaging method — ultashort echo time (UTE) lung magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with the gadolinium-based, fibrin-specific probe EP-2104R — to directly visualize fibrin accumulation in injured mouse lungs, and to correlate the antifibrotic effects of dabigatran with attenuation of fibrin deposition. We found that inhibition of the profibrotic effects of thrombin can be uncoupled from inhibition of hemostasis, as therapeutic anticoagulation with warfarin failed to downregulate the PAR1/αvβ6/TGF-β axis or significantly protect against fibrosis. These findings have direct and important clinical implications, given recent findings that warfarin treatment is not beneficial in IPF, and the clinical availability of direct thrombin inhibitors that our data suggest could benefit these patients.
Barry S. Shea, Clemens K. Probst, Patricia L. Brazee, Nicholas J. Rotile, Francesco Blasi, Paul H. Weinreb, Katharine E. Black, David E. Sosnovik, Elizabeth M. Van Cott, Shelia M. Violette, Peter Caravan, Andrew M. Tager
Contact hypersensitivity (CHS) is a common skin disease induced by epicutaneous sensitization to haptens. Conflicting results have been obtained regarding pathogenic versus protective roles of mast cells (MCs) in CHS, and this has been attributed in part to the limitations of certain models for studying MC functions in vivo. Here we describe a fluorescent imaging approach that enables in vivo selective labeling and tracking of MC secretory granules by real-time intravital 2-photon microscopy in living mice, and permits the identification of such MCs as a potential source of cytokines in different disease models. We show using this method that dermal MCs release their granules progressively into the surrounding microenvironment, but also represent an initial source of the antiinflammatory cytokine IL-10, during the early phase of severe CHS reactions. Finally, using 3 different types of MC-deficient mice, as well as mice in which IL-10 is ablated specifically in MCs, we show that IL-10 production by MCs can significantly limit the inflammation and tissue pathology observed in severe CHS reactions.
Laurent L. Reber, Riccardo Sibilano, Philipp Starkl, Axel Roers, Michele A. Grimbaldeston, Mindy Tsai, Nicolas Gaudenzio, Stephen J. Galli
Development of antiviral therapy against acute viral diseases, such as dengue virus (DENV), suffers from the narrow window of viral load detection in serum during onset and clearance of infection and fever. We explored a biomarker approach using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET in established mouse models for primary and antibody-dependent enhancement infection with DENV. 18F-FDG uptake was most prominent in the intestines and correlated with increased virus load and proinflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, a significant temporal trend in 18F-FDG uptake was seen in intestines and selected tissues over the time course of infection. Notably, 18F-FDG uptake and visualization by PET robustly differentiated treatment-naive groups from drug-treated groups as well as nonlethal from lethal infections with a clinical strain of DENV2. Thus, 18F-FDG may serve as a novel DENV infection–associated inflammation biomarker for assessing treatment response during therapeutic intervention trials.
Ann-Marie Chacko, Satoru Watanabe, Keira J. Herr, Shirin Kalimuddin, Jing Yang Tham, Joanne Ong, Marie Reolo, Raymond M.F. Serrano, Yin Bun Cheung, Jenny G.H. Low, Subhash G. Vasudevan
Living in a mentally and physically stimulating environment has been suggested to have a beneficial effect on the immune response. This study investigates these effects, utilizing a 2-week program of environmental enrichment (EE) and 2 models of acute inflammation: zymosan-induced peritonitis (ZIP) and the cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model of sepsis. Our results revealed that following exposure to EE, mice possessed a significantly higher circulating neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio compared with control animals. When subject to ZIP, EE animals exhibit enhanced neutrophil and macrophage influx into their peritoneal cavity. Corresponding results were found in CLP, where we observed an improved capacity for enriched animals to clear systemic microbial infection. Ex vivo investigation of leukocyte activity also revealed that macrophages from EE mice presented an enhanced phagocytic capacity. Supporting these findings, microarray analysis of EE animals revealed the increased expression of immunomodulatory genes associated with a heightened and immunoprotective status. Taken together, these results provide potentially novel mechanisms by which EE influences the development and dynamics of the immune response.
Samuel Brod, Thomas Gobbetti, Beatrice Gittens, Masahiro Ono, Mauro Perretti, Fulvio D’Acquisto
Surgery can induce cognitive decline, a risk that increases with advancing age. In rodents, postoperative cognitive decline (POCD) is associated with the inflammatory activation of hippocampal microglia. To examine the role of microglia in POCD, we inhibited the colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) in adult mice, effectively depleting CNS microglia. Surgical trauma (tibial fracture) reduced the ability of mice to remember a conditioned response learned preoperatively, a deficit more pronounced and persistent in mice with diet-induced obesity (DIO). Whereas microglial depletion by itself did not affect learning or memory, perioperative microglial depletion remarkably protected mice, including those with DIO, from POCD. This protection was associated with reduced hippocampal levels of inflammatory mediators, abrogation of hippocampal recruitment of CCR2+ leukocytes, and higher levels of circulating inflammation-resolving factors. Targeting microglia may thus be a viable strategy to mitigate the development of POCD, particularly in those with increased vulnerability.
Xiaomei Feng, Martin Valdearcos, Yosuke Uchida, David Lutrin, Mervyn Maze, Suneil K. Koliwad
Accurate and high-quality curation of lipidomic datasets generated from plasma, cells, or tissues is becoming essential for cell biology investigations and biomarker discovery for personalized medicine. However, a major challenge lies in removing artifacts otherwise mistakenly interpreted as real lipids from large mass spectrometry files (>60 K features), while retaining genuine ions in the dataset. This requires powerful informatics tools; however, available workflows have not been tailored specifically for lipidomics, particularly discovery research. We designed LipidFinder, an open-source Python workflow. An algorithm is included that optimizes analysis based on users’ own data, and outputs are screened against online databases and categorized into LIPID MAPS classes. LipidFinder outperformed three widely used metabolomics packages using data from human platelets. We show a family of three 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid phosphoinositides (16:0/, 18:1/, 18:0/12-HETE-PI) generated by thrombin-activated platelets, indicating crosstalk between eicosanoid and phosphoinositide pathways in human cells. The software is available on GitHub (https://github.com/cjbrasher/LipidFinder), with full userguides.
Anne O’Connor, Christopher J. Brasher, David A. Slatter, Sven W. Meckelmann, Jade I. Hawksworth, Stuart M. Allen, Valerie B. O’Donnell
Gram-negative pneumonia is a dangerous illness, and bacterial dissemination to the bloodstream during the infection is strongly associated with death. Antibiotic resistance among the causative pathogens has resulted in diminishing treatment options against this infection. Hepcidin is the master regulator of extracellular iron availability in vertebrates, but its role in the context of host defense is undefined. We hypothesized that hepcidin-mediated depletion of extracellular iron during Gram-negative pneumonia protects the host by limiting dissemination of bacteria to the bloodstream. During experimental pneumonia, hepcidin was induced in the liver in an IL-6–dependent manner and mediated a rapid decline in plasma iron. In contrast, hepcidin-deficient mice developed a paradoxical increase in plasma iron during infection associated with profound susceptibility to bacteremia. Incubation of bacteria with iron-supplemented plasma enhanced bacterial growth in vitro, and systemic administration of iron to WT mice similarly promoted increased susceptibility to bloodstream infection. Finally, treatment with a hepcidin analogue restored hypoferremia in hepcidin-deficient hosts, mediated bacterial control, and improved outcomes. These data show hepcidin induction during pneumonia to be essential to preventing bacterial dissemination by limiting extracellular iron availability. Hepcidin agonists may represent an effective therapy for Gram-negative infections in patients with impaired hepcidin production or signaling.
Kathryn R. Michels, Zhimin Zhang, Alexandra M. Bettina, R. Elaine Cagnina, Debora Stefanova, Marie D. Burdick, Sophie Vaulont, Elizabeta Nemeth, Tomas Ganz, Borna Mehrad
Mechanisms of bile acid–induced (BA-induced) liver injury in cholestasis are controversial, limiting development of new therapies. We examined how BAs initiate liver injury using isolated liver cells from humans and mice and in-vivo mouse models. At pathophysiologic concentrations, BAs induced proinflammatory cytokine expression in mouse and human hepatocytes, but not in nonparenchymal cells or cholangiocytes. These hepatocyte-specific cytokines stimulated neutrophil chemotaxis. Inflammatory injury was mitigated in
Shi-Ying Cai, Xinshou Ouyang, Yonglin Chen, Carol J. Soroka, Juxian Wang, Albert Mennone, Yucheng Wang, Wajahat Z. Mehal, Dhanpat Jain, James L. Boyer
Preterm birth (PTB) is a leading worldwide cause of morbidity and mortality in infants. Maternal inflammation induced by microbial infection is a critical predisposing factor for PTB. However, biological processes associated with competency of pathogens, including viruses, to induce PTB or sensitize for secondary bacterial infection–driven PTB are unknown. We show that pathogen/pathogen-associated molecular pattern–driven activation of type I IFN/IFN receptor (IFNAR) was sufficient to prime for systemic and uterine proinflammatory chemokine and cytokine production and induction of PTB. Similarly, treatment with recombinant type I IFNs recapitulated such effects by exacerbating proinflammatory cytokine production and reducing the dose of secondary inflammatory challenge required for induction of PTB. Inflammatory challenge–driven induction of PTB was eliminated by defects in type I IFN, TLR, or IL-6 responsiveness, whereas the sequence of type I IFN sensing by IFNAR on hematopoietic cells was essential for regulation of proinflammatory cytokine production. Importantly, we also show that type I IFN priming effects are conserved from mice to nonhuman primates and humans, and expression of both type I IFNs and proinflammatory cytokines is upregulated in human PTB. Thus, activation of the type I IFN/IFNAR axis in pregnancy primes for inflammation-driven PTB and provides an actionable biomarker and therapeutic target for mitigating PTB risk.
Monica Cappelletti, Pietro Presicce, Matthew J. Lawson, Vandana Chaturvedi, Traci E. Stankiewicz, Simone Vanoni, Isaac T.W. Harley, Jaclyn W. McAlees, Daniel A. Giles, Maria E. Moreno-Fernandez, Cesar M. Rueda, Paranth Senthamaraikannan, Xiaofei Sun, Rebekah Karns, Kasper Hoebe, Edith M. Janssen, Christopher L. Karp, David A. Hildeman, Simon P. Hogan, Suhas G. Kallapur, Claire A. Chougnet, Sing Sing Way, Senad Divanovic
Excessive ROS promote allergic asthma, a condition characterized by airway inflammation, eosinophilic inflammation, and increased airway hyperreactivity (AHR). The mechanisms by which airway ROS are increased and the relationship between increased airway ROS and disease phenotypes are incompletely defined. Mitochondria are an important source of cellular ROS production, and our group discovered that Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is present in mitochondria and activated by oxidation. Furthermore, mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant therapy reduced the severity of allergic asthma in a mouse model. Based on these findings, we developed a mouse model of CaMKII inhibition targeted to mitochondria in airway epithelium. We challenged these mice with OVA or
Sara C. Sebag, Olha M. Koval, John D. Paschke, Christopher J. Winters, Omar A. Jaffer, Ryszard Dworski, Fayyaz S. Sutterwala, Mark E. Anderson, Isabella M. Grumbach
Specialized proresolving mediators (SPMs) promote the resolution of inflammation and exert beneficial effects in animal models of chronic inflammatory diseases, including asthma. Previously, we have shown that certain SPMs reduce IgE production in B cells from healthy individuals, which has a critical role in allergic asthma. Here, we investigated the effects of SPMs on B cell IgE production in asthma patients. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from asthma patients were treated with 17-HDHA or RvD1, and IgE levels were measured. RvD1 and 17-HDHA dampened IgE production in B cells from most asthma patients, whereas B cells from a subset of patients taking oral steroids were refractory to SPM treatment. Molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction between corticosteroids and SPMs were investigated by treating B cells from nonasthmatic donors with corticosteroids in vitro. Corticosteroids blocked the inhibitory effects of 17-HDHA and RvD1 on B cell IgE production by abolishing the suppressive activity of these mediators on IgE class switching. Corticosteroids decreased the expression of transcriptional repressor Bcl-6 as well as its suppressive activity on epsilon germline transcription. We conclude that 17-HDHA and RvD1 can reduce IgE production in asthma patients not taking high doses of steroids but that corticosteroids interfere with the ability of B cells to respond to proresolving mediators.
Nina Kim, Thomas H. Thatcher, Patricia J. Sime, Richard P. Phipps
The heme oxygenase-1 (
Hagir B. Suliman, Jeffrey E. Keenan, Claude A. Piantadosi
Levamisole, an anthelmintic drug with cholinergic properties, has been implicated in cases of drug-induced vasculitis when added to cocaine for profit purposes. Neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation is a cell death mechanism characterized by extrusion of chromatin decorated with granule proteins. Aberrant NET formation and degradation have been implicated in idiopathic autoimmune diseases that share features with levamisole-induced autoimmunity as well as in drug-induced autoimmunity. This study’s objective was to determine how levamisole modulates neutrophil biology and its putative effects on the vasculature. Murine and human neutrophils exposed to levamisole demonstrated enhanced NET formation through engagement of muscarinic subtype 3 receptor. Levamisole-induced NETosis required activation of Akt and the RAF/MEK/ERK pathway, ROS induction through the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase, and peptidylarginine deiminase activation. Sera from two cohorts of patients actively using levamisole-adulterated cocaine displayed autoantibodies against NET components. Cutaneous biopsy material obtained from individuals exposed to levamisole suggests that neutrophils produce NETs in areas of vasculitic inflammation and thrombosis. NETs generated by levamisole were toxic to endothelial cells and impaired endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation. Stimulation of muscarinic receptors on neutrophils by cholinergic agonists may contribute to the pathophysiology observed in drug-induced autoimmunity through the induction of inflammatory responses and neutrophil-induced vascular damage.
Carmelo Carmona-Rivera, Monica M. Purmalek, Erica Moore, Meryl Waldman, Peter J. Walter, H. Martin Garraffo, Karran A. Phillips, Kenzie L. Preston, Jonathan Graf, Mariana J. Kaplan, Peter C. Grayson
Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) vasculitis is characterized by the presence of autoantibodies to myeloperoxidase and proteinase-3, which bind monocytes in addition to neutrophils. While a pathological effect on neutrophils is acknowledged, the impact of ANCA on monocyte function is less well understood. Using IgG from patients we investigated the effect of these autoantibodies on monocytes and found that anti-myeloperoxidase antibodies (MPO-ANCA) reduced both IL-10 and IL-6 secretion in response to LPS. This reduction in IL-10 and IL-6 depended on Fc receptors and enzymatic myeloperoxidase and was accompanied by a significant reduction in TLR-driven signaling pathways. Aligning with changes in TLR signals, oxidized phospholipids, which function as TLR4 antagonists, were increased in monocytes in the presence of MPO-ANCA. We further observed that MPO-ANCA increased monocyte survival and differentiation to macrophages by stimulating CSF-1 production. However, this was independent of myeloperoxidase enzymatic activity and TLR signaling. Macrophages differentiated in the presence of MPO-ANCA secreted more TGF-β and further promoted the development of IL-10– and TGF-β–secreting CD4+ T cells. Thus, MPO-ANCA may promote inflammation by reducing the secretion of antiinflammatory IL-10 from monocytes, and MPO-ANCA can alter the development of macrophages and T cells to potentially promote fibrosis.
Reena J. Popat, Seran Hakki, Alpesh Thakker, Alice M. Coughlan, Julie Watson, Mark A. Little, Corinne M. Spickett, Paul Lavender, Behdad Afzali, Claudia Kemper, Michael G. Robson
Loss of function or overexpression of methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) results in the severe neurodevelopmental disorders Rett syndrome and MeCP2 duplication syndrome, respectively. MeCP2 plays a critical role in neuronal function and the function of cells throughout the body. It has been previously demonstrated that MeCP2 regulates T cell function and macrophage response to multiple stimuli, and that immune-mediated rescue imparts significant benefit in
James C. Cronk, Jasmin Herz, Taeg S. Kim, Antoine Louveau, Emily K. Moser, Ashish K. Sharma, Igor Smirnov, Kenneth S. Tung, Thomas J. Braciale, Jonathan Kipnis
In patients with sickle cell disease (SCD), the polymerization of intraerythrocytic hemoglobin S promotes downstream vaso-occlusive events in the microvasculature. While vaso-occlusion is known to occur in the lung, often in the context of systemic vaso-occlusive crisis and the acute chest syndrome, the pathophysiological mechanisms that incite lung injury are unknown. We used intravital microscopy of the lung in transgenic humanized SCD mice to monitor acute vaso-occlusive events following an acute dose of systemic lipopolysaccharide sufficient to trigger events in SCD but not control mice. We observed cellular microembolism of precapillary pulmonary arteriolar bottlenecks by neutrophil-platelet aggregates. Blood from SCD patients was next studied under flow in an in vitro microfluidic system. Similar to the pulmonary circulation, circulating platelets nucleated around arrested neutrophils, translating to a greater number and duration of neutrophil-platelet interactions compared with normal human blood. Inhibition of platelet P-selectin with function-blocking antibody attenuated the neutrophil-platelet interactions in SCD patient blood in vitro and resolved pulmonary arteriole microembolism in SCD mice in vivo. These results establish the relevance of neutrophil-platelet aggregate formation in lung arterioles in promoting lung vaso-occlusion in SCD and highlight the therapeutic potential of targeting platelet adhesion molecules to prevent acute chest syndrome.
Margaret F. Bennewitz, Maritza A. Jimenez, Ravi Vats, Egemen Tutuncuoglu, Jude Jonassaint, Gregory J. Kato, Mark T. Gladwin, Prithu Sundd
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a devastating muscle disease characterized by progressive muscle deterioration and replacement with an aberrant fatty, fibrous matrix. Chronic upregulation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) is implicated as a driver of the dystrophic pathogenesis. Herein, 2 members of a novel class of NF-κB inhibitors, edasalonexent (formerly CAT-1004) and CAT-1041, were evaluated in both
David W. Hammers, Margaret M. Sleeper, Sean C. Forbes, Cora C. Coker, Michael R. Jirousek, Michael Zimmer, Glenn A. Walter, H. Lee Sweeney
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